TTM Canberra Raiders Cup: Round 5 Wrap Up

Queanbeyan Kangaroos (1) 20 drew with Tuggeranong Bushrangers (2) 20 at Greenway

Whilst they are still yet to be defeated in 2014, the Queanbeyan Kangaroos have succumbed to their second successive draw, this time at the hands of the second placed Tuggeranong Bushrangers.

The fixture was unanimously billed as the Match of the Round given that it was contested by the top two placed teams in the competition.

“Over the last few years we’ve had really competitive games against each other where there haven’t been too many blow-out scores,” Bushrangers Captain-Coach Michael Brophy said in the lead up to the clash.

“They beat us in the semi’s last year and hopefully a few of the boys will remember that heartbreak and turn it around this weekend.”

Although they did not turn the result around completely, Tuggeranong’s confidence will be significantly boosted knowing that they can match the competition favourite’s blow for blow.

For Queanbeyan, although they managed to avoid defeat against an inspired-Bushrangers outfit, Coach Aaron Gorrell will no doubt have been left seething with the result and will put his side through a gruelling week at training to enable his chargers to play to their damaging  potential.

“We were lucky to get a draw last week against Goulburn,” Queanbeyan centre Daniel Watt said.

“Aaron wasn’t too happy with our performance and basically said that if we play like that against the really good teams then we will be walking away with a loss. We're not too far away but we need to pick our act up.”

The Kangaroos and the Bushrangers are now tied as the best defensive sides in the competition statistically after five rounds.

Tuggeranong Bushrangers 20 (Carl Johnson, Jordan Hammond, Nathan Miles, Jayden Pollard tries; Carl Johnson 2 goals) drew with Queanbeyan Kangaroos 20 (Robbie Byatt 2, Bryan Cronan, Jed Pearce tries; Josh Mitchell 2 goals)

Woden Valley Rams (7) 40 defeated Belconnen United Scholars (8) 12 at Phillip District Oval

Leading into this match both sides were searching for their first win of the year and it was Woden who stood tall to amend their unwanted statistic and in turn continue the disappointing start to the year endured by last year’s semi-finalists, Belconnen United.

Inspired by a four try haul to promising young winger John White, the Rams thrashed the Scholars 40-12 in front of a strong home crowd.

The result has enabled Woden to leapfrog the win-less Scholars to escape the bottom of the TTM Canberra Raiders Cup ladder.

An interesting side-note from this win was the demands made from creative hooker Ash Barnes following a try he set up for lock forward Adam Kyle.

The pair work side-by-side at Raiders HQ as development officers and after Barnes sent Kyle on a saloon passage to the try line, the chirpy rake was heard yelling “you owe me lunch all week now mate.”

Woden Valley Rams 40 (John White 4, Charlie Hallam, Kilu Pangai, Adam Kyle tries; Tim Crome 6 goals) defeated Belconnen United Scholars 12 (Chris Thorley, Ryan O’Sullivan tries; Chris Thorely 2 goals)

Queanbeyan Blues (5) 24 defeated Gungahlin Bulls (3) 16 at Seiffert Oval

The Blues returned to the winners circle in Round 5 with a 24-16 win over the third placed Gungahlin Bulls at home.

Grand Finalists in 2013, Queanbeyan suffered a shock defeat to last year’s wooden spooners, West Belconnen, last weekend.

As such, many expected the Blues to bounce back in emphatic fashion and their Coach Simon Woolford will be thoroughly pleased that they have done so on the back of a double to Tom Ruediger.

Despite the loss, the Bulls retain their place in third spot due to for-and-against, whilst the Blues, on the same amount of competition points, reside in fifth place due to the same reason.

Queanbeyan Blues 24 (Tom Ruediger 2, Tom Leddy, Dave Panagi tries; Levi Freeman 4 goals) defeated Gungahlin Bulls 16 (Dwayne Connors, George Hewitt, Brad Wood tries; Dwayne Connors 2 goals, Aiden Greenwood 1 goal)

Goulburn Workers Bulldogs (4) 30 drew with West Belconnen Warriors (6) 30 at Goulburn Workers Arena

Well if a win over last year’s Grand Finalists the Queanbeyan Blues last weekend didn’t demonstrate that West Belconnen are no longer the easy-beats of the TTM Canberra Raiders Cup, the Warriors proved it once again with an impressive draw against the Bulldogs at Goulburn Workers Arena.

With devastating attacking talents such as the Picker brothers and former NRL flyer Michael Bani in their line-up, Goulburn is statistically the best offensive team in the competition and the Warriors did marvellously well to match them in what was a free-flowing and entertaining encounter.

“They're not the easy-beats any more, that's for sure,” said Goulburn Captain-Coach Mick Picker, who scored a try in the draw.

“They're a tough team no doubt, they've got some handy players and some big boppers.”

Despite the draw, the Bulldogs remain in fourth place on the ladder however Picker concedes that his side has plenty of work ahead of them if they are to challenge for the title.

“There's no way we're the benchmark at the moment, we've got plenty to work on,” he said. “The Blues and the Roos are the benchmark.”

Goulburn Workers Bulldogs 30 (Michael Bani, Codie Medway, Michael Picker, Jason Gray, Blake Hewitt tries; Ben Picker 5 goals) drew with West Belconnen Warriors 30 (Ezra Howe, Tim Sloman, Nick Whatman Dayne Ewings Tevita Aroha-Tuinauvui tries; Scott Jones 5 goals